According to this study carried out by an association, one out of three French schoolchildren would not be able to recognize and name a good number of fruits and vegetables. Is this the symptom of too deep a break with the rural world or is it linked to a simple lack of diversity on the plate? At a time when eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day has become a real national refrain, find out how to go about reversing the trend in a fun way!

Nearly 1,000 pupils aged 8 to 12 answered a questionnaire on the knowledge of young French people about fruits and vegetables. Result: nearly one in three schoolchildren cannot identify a leek, a zucchini, a fig or an artichoke. Worse, 87% don’t know what a beet is! This information would undoubtedly be enough to move Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie, famous market gardener to King Louis XIV. Jean-Baptiste, what do you recommend to reverse the trend?

1. Include more fruits and vegetables in the kitchen

Less than a quarter of French people would try to consume five fruits and vegetables a day, according to a CREDOC survey. The organization also underlines the generalized dietary evolution of younger generations who consume four times less fruits and vegetables than their grandparents.

“When we ask mums what they cook for dinner, half the time they say they put a ready-made meal in the microwave”, says pediatrician Patrice Halimi, secretary general of the Association Santé Environnement France (Asef). In a articleFrance TV Info reports the words of Doctor Pierre Souvet, president of Asef abounds: “Children tend to reproduce the behaviors they observe. If they are not introduced to the taste of healthy foods at home, they will not adopt good eating habits”.

The solution ? Transform the meal into a little discovery. For example, use plates with pictures on the bottom so that the child discovers them as they eat. You can also allow them to eat the green beans with their fingers: it reminds us of french fries! And why not try anthropomorphism? A man’s head made of vegetables is funnier to eat.

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2. Discovery in the garden or at the market

Seeing a whole fruit or vegetable is still a crucial step in recognizing early vegetables. Showing fruits and vegetables, naming them and giving the child the opportunity to put them in the basket or choose them are all good ways to facilitate learning. Better, if you maintain a vegetable garden, involve him in the tasks: watering, sowing…

garden children
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The next step after shopping is preparing the meal. And there too, a child can take part in his own way: wash the tomatoes, put the raspberries or blueberries in a salad bowl, etc. If he is old enough to read, all he has to do is follow the instructions for cooking or preparing the Tatin Jardiner Facile tart! The more contact is established, the easier recognition becomes. Finally, tasting the preparation is also part of the game.

3. Tell salads

Children have a certain ability to tell stories. Open up the field of possibilities by inventing, for example, the story of the strawberry or the carrot. The children’s sections of the library or the nearest bookstore are probably full of some nice books on fruits and vegetables. Thematic collections are indeed not lacking in the sphere of children’s books.

vegetable family
Credits: Jiyi/iStock

Another trick, you can also initiate the game of riddles or the charade for the more creative. It is also a good option to warm up the brain!

“In my first you can travel in groups from one point to another.
In my second are Santa’s gifts.
My everything is a vegetable that rabbits love.”
Answer: the carrot (car-hood)

If nothing is decidedly working and the plant world remains unsympathetic to your offspring who do not recognize the value of the Magic Bean, follow tips from these parents who have found the parade. “It’s up to you now, name of a gourd!”signed Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie.

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Amazing & Bizarre

Amazing & Bizarre is a gardening blog dedicated to curious gardeners and lovers of rare plants. Find all our natural gardening advice, our culture sheets, our original cooking recipes, our DIY tips and our creative ideas!

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